Songs of the Symphony on Wednesday

As a final farewell to director Brian Murphy, Symphonic Band played a great performance.

Selina Fluty, Columnist

On Wednesday, May 11, at 6 p.m., the students in Symphonic Band had finished warming up. Their director introduced the band and announced their biannual tour to Disneyland. The music was supposed to be upbeat, as it’ll be performed in front of a wide audience in California. After his introductions, the band began with the theme from “The Cowboys.”

This piece was as peppy as promised, with lots of trumpets and the familiar style of Western music. Suddenly, the music suddenly took a more sprawling tone, a testament to the plains aforementioned cowboys roamed. The music swelled and flowed with precision, then burst into a faster tempo and style, which kept the audience on its toes.

After “The Cowboys,” the band moved to “Shenandoah,” which was much slower and including the French horn as a key part of the piece. Symphonic Band played with elegance and a refined touch while the clarinets and flutes took the lead in the movement. The calming notes and carefully winding instrumental components ensured a lovely piece.

Next up, senior Benjamin “Steve” Bitzko was featured with his euphonium in the next movement, “All Those Endearing Young Charms.” He stood in front of the band and led the piece through its measures. The song was another piece with a great many tempos and styles, each showing off Bitzko’s pure talent on his instrument. He received a standing ovation at the end of the song.

“Phantom of the Opera: Soundtrack Highlights” was the next movement the students performed. It featured the theme and several other songs from both the play and the movie. Once again, as this was a multitude of different songs, the tempo and style changed every minute or so. As usual, the students played without flaw.

Before the final song of the night, Brian Murphy gave out Letter Awards to several students. He also gave out the student-chosen awards – Leadership and Musicianship. Seniors Kendall Gutt and Bitzko got the awards, respectively. Finally, he introduced all of the seniors and gave them a small gift. As this was Mr. Murphy’s last concert before he moved on to other things, the students gave him a gift as well – several framed photos, iced tea by the gallon, and a new baton, with “Horizon Honors Symphonic Band” written on the side. They received raucous applause, then moved to the last song of the year.

A joking piece, “The Roosters Lay Eggs in Kansas” featured the band students singing some of the song. A few different instrumentalists stood one-at-time to play the melody. The lyrics were funny, and the short piece concluded with junior Evan Gunderson finishing the song by playing the melody just into his mouthpiece. A light-hearted ending to a final goodbye, Symphonic Band really put on a show.